Wondering how to get rid of shadows when taking photos? Avoiding Shadows, especially in indoor photography is one of the most challenging parts for photographers. Yes, we are gonna discuss How to eliminate shadows in product photography.
When those unwanted shadows pop up and make your photo looks worse you may feel very disappointed. Artificial or natural light or even both of them blending with the light reflected by the window mirror and off of the walls can cause that unnecessary and unappealing result in your beautiful photographs.
Some decent strategies can seamlessly make things easy for you to avoid shadows. From now on, you can make your photos look as beautiful as you want without having to worry about shadows at all.
Now let’s take a look at what we can do to avoid shadows, no matter whatever the situation is.
How to eliminate shadows in product photography
Unlike everything else, the Product photography is more about how you manage things around before you go to the action.
The surrounding atmosphere should be optimized depending on what type of photos you’re willing to take. But don’t worry! we will also discuss if in case you can’t optimize your place, we’ll help you to do that. I can ensure that if you read this article without losing patience you can answer the question of How to Eliminate Shadows in Product Photography yourself.
1. Set Your Camera
First things first, we will have to set out the camera to shutter priority mode — S for Nikon and Tv for Canon.
Next, set the shutter speed between 1/60 to 1/200 will prevent artificially formed shadows. And within this setting smooth images with no motion blur can be taken.
But having the shutter speed set at more than 1/200 can capture interference from artificial shadows from lampshades, bulbs, or window mirrors.
With the manual mode, you can also control the depth of field (DOF)
For indoor photography, we recommend reducing the DOF because it helps to minimize the background noise.
2. The LightBox
Making a Lightbox for product photography is easy as well as beneficial. It can protect your photos from shadow at the very first stage. Pointing a large light to the subject of the image works as a soft source of light. It also provides the white background that is needed for most product photographs.
Of course, we may have space limitations with this method, shots for multiple products, and the flexibility to choose different backgrounds becomes also tough. But it is one of the easiest ways after all.
3. Understanding Soft Light
A source of light that gives a bright reflection over a large area. In other words, Soft light refers to spreading light also around the area of the product and the light must not be harsh.
This is such a kind of light that helps to fight against the shadow. The best instance of soft light is the sun blending with the clouds to disperse wide light over a huge surface.
There are only two materials for soft light, a lighting system, and an umbrella. Pointing the light to the umbrella and the umbrella to the product will work perfectly.
4. Understanding Hard Light
Hard light is smaller than the size of the product. Professionals often make the combination of Hard and soft light together to give a cool shadow effect for what they are doing. But for us to avoid the Shadows and Blurry effect properly Hard light works well. Hard light is also necessary to understand because it is one of the most needed methods between light and shadow photography ideas.
5. Flash is the next enemy
You gotta be careful while casting the flash of any device, especially the camera. This results in the difference between what you see on the display and the actual photo.
Being able to control direct flash properly to reduce shadow is harder unless you’re a professional. The direct light source coming from you will cause a harsh shadow in the opposite of the product.
6. Using a Reflector
A reflector is probably one of the most important tools when it comes to photography. There’s no quick way like using an app to get rid of shadows in pictures, you have to learn everything including the use of a reflector.
A Reflector lets you make a soft fill for shadows and reducing the shadow at the same time. Usually, an umbrella can be used as a reflector.
Buying Professional Umbrellas dedicated to photography instead of the umbrella we use out in the rain would be good in case if you have an extra budget.
7. Take advantage of the daylight
Although Daylight can cause you to sweat and energy loss. In the case of photography, it can serve you well for reducing shadows.
I’m not talking about the direct sunlight above your head. The light that is cast upon the window makes a juicy effect of soft light and brightest feel.
As the daylight is even brighter than your camera flash it appears as a shallow depth of field and cool white balance.
8. Avoid the shadowed wall effect
In indoor photography, unwanted shadows appear the most. Basically, because of the space limit, we place our subject close to the wall. And when we point the light to the subject, usually, the subject reflects a shadow onto the wall. That’s why you should strategically use a light source from behind.
This is what we call the shadowed wall effect. In other words, having a shadow in the back of the product.
We will first have to move the product from near the wall and then add a reflector pointing the back.
9. Know where you’re standing personally relative to all light sources in the room
Standing right in front of the lamp will result in shadow. Likewise, if you are using two studio lamps for lighting and there’s also a window behind you for open source light, then this will create further issues.
Take care of all the sources light comes from and manage them using the other tips included in this post. More light doesn’t bring more power to fight the shadow. Instead, a good position could make the source work for you.
10. The light tent and Pop-up light tent
This method is worth being a product photography lighting technique. You don’t have to go in search of a lightbox as this method will work as an alternative.
The light tent comes in all different shapes and sizes and offers a soft light source that bounces back from the tent to the central product. Yeah, it saves a lot of hassle.
11. Use a translucent acrylic flexible surface with Lighting from below
This method is a unique one that involves placing the product onto a table with light underneath. Then, surrounding a wide sheet of the translucent acrylic flexible surface around the product. If we can angle the light correctly it will bounce the light around the product.
I won’t go out for this method specifically because there are better solutions for reducing shadows.
12. Bouncing the Light Back
It’s significant to give this heading its dedicated section. Most of us might not be a photographer with a high budget. In case if we have only one source of light we can make it work perfectly without having shadows casting to the opposite side of the product.
We can place some white pieces of cards behind the product so that the light can reflect. This is a nice, cheap, and effective method for shadow reduction. We also call it product shot in white background.
13. Two lights instead of one
Having two lights at the same time could cancel out the above tips. This is quite a good method for shadow reduction.
One light source pointing the product and the second one pointing the surrounding makes it easy, simple, and hassle-free.
14. Shoot with a Tripod
Tripod not only helps becoming steady, but it also decreases motion blur at any shutter speed.
When you are in the situation of indoor photography, things become easy to capture fixed subjects using a long exposure set up to enhance the light sources. You can also compensate for shadow light proportion.
15. Photoshop – Shadow/Highlight Command
Fixing Shadows in Photoshop works if you have got unexpected shadows by any chance. The creators of photoshop have already explained this one in detail on Shadow adjustment in Photoshop.
16. Part A – Stopping Shadows From Hitting The Background – Positioning of the Product Relative To The Light
When you have set up your small studio indoors, it is understandable that you have every material of photography including the background, Camera, lights, and all nearby. But is also a fact that the limited space indoors also helps shadow.
The product is too close to the background and sometimes the shadows are emitted from the products. Move the product far from the wall, in the center. But still, if space limitation makes it hard for you, combining part B below with Part A could help a lot.
17. Part B – Stopping Shadows From Hitting The Background – Positioning of the Light Relative To The Product
Placing the light in front of the product causes a shadow behind. So move the light to the left or right side. This will then cause the shadow to be cast on the opposite side of the product. Then we can use some white cards on the opposite side to bounce the light back onto the product.
18. Part C – Stopping Shadows From Hitting The Background – Adding Additional Light
If part A and part B didn’t work for your situation, part c is the last solution. You gotta bring in lamps that cast shadows.
All you gotta do is aim this light directly where the shadow falls at. This will solve the problem easily. But one thing to remember is having two lighting systems at the perfect place. Otherwise, the product will become too shiny.
19. Using Colour Replace in Photoshop
Finally, if you still have got shadows within your photos you can fix the rest in photoshop, fortunately. In Photoshop select replace color under the adjustment tab. Then click on the shadow and reduce the fuzziness. After that, reducing saturation to down and increasing brightness will gradually vanish all shadows. Your work is done!
20. Adjusting the Brightness when editing
The brightness adjustment feature is unfortunately available for only standard fee editing software. A brightness setting helps to reduce the rest shadows in combination with the above steps. But if you are uploading it to Instagram there are free tools to reduce shadows specifically. It is an artificial method to eliminate shadows in product photography.
21. Reducing the Light
You should never use so many bright lights to cast a shadow. But that’s what often newbies do and as a result, things become worse.
This tip involves dulling the light. If you are using studio lights you have access to three brightness settings. Just reducing the brightness helps in many cases to minimize shadows, as well as placing the lights further away from the background or product.
We suggest placing the product in the center of the studio and lights far more than the center. Before you become capable enough to eliminate Shadows in Product Photography, You should learn well the art of lighting
So you have reached from the top of this page to the down, Congratulations! I have already mentioned every possible method to help with shadow reduction depending on the situation. Now if you could keep in mind all the tips above you will automatically get an idea for which method to use in different circumstances.
Throughout this article, we have explained product photography lighting techniques as well as how to edit shadows out of pictures in photoshop and so on.
So yes, If you have any questions or personal methods that worked for you with shadow reduction or problems, don’t forget to comment down below, we’ll get back to you promptly.
So that was all for today. Thank you guys for staying tuned with us. Hope we will meet another day.